THIS IS EMBARRASSING: More than two years ago, I posted on this blog about my considering the “radical” step of getting rid of my TV (see “Me and My TV”). Back then, I listed four of my reasons: content, noise, mind conditioning, and time. Those should have been more than enough (and I’m speaking here only for me…no one else) to move me to unload the blinking box. But I didn’t. Thus the embarrassment.
But tonight, I’m finally packing the thing out to the dumpster. In recent months, it’s developed too many problems even to bring a few bucks at the pawn shop or be worth repairing (who wants a TV with the DVD tray stuck in the out position…and that ever more frequently locks up on one channel and refuses to change till unplugged and then plugged back in? Photo of set in better days, on my earlier post).
In the intervening couple of years since my earlier post, I’ve come to realize that in addition to the reasons I stated then for junking the TV, some others have become at least as insistent. I don’t like to be irritated and angry, and watching it is increasingly helping generate those responses.
The political and news shoutfests do not one good thing for my blood pressure (see the preceding post just below this one: “Ending the Nonstop Shouting”). And maybe I’m just becoming a “grumpy old man,” but more commercials these days irritate the ever-living dickens out of me. Like the current “Kit-Kat” ad, with a bunch of adults chomping loudly away on the bars with their mouths open and apparently, microphones right in their mouths. Like the FreeCreditReport.com “singers” (and I use that term loosely here). Like the drug ads with one benefit and four gazillion rapidly spewed side effects. Call me a curmudgeon, but I’ve had it.
I’ve contemplated what might take the place of the time previously spent at the TV. For anything truly newsworthy, these days video clips are available almost instantly online, so I won’t miss out on the next Huge Unmissable Event. If I feel some sort of entertainment withdrawal, I have good online options there too: Netflix, Hulu, whatever. Or I can slide a DVD into the computer and watch it on my large monitor.
I also envision more time playing music, more time exercising, more time pursuing some personal and professional goals, more time learning things.
But I guess my reason for this post is to ask the question at the top. Does anyone out there already live without TV? If so, how long? What figured into your decision? And I’m really interested in what changes it’s made, positive or negative. What do you do with the time you once spent in front of the box? I’d like to hear your story.
In a few months, I’ll weigh in here again with a third “TV” post and share what it’s been like for me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a trip to make to the dumpster.